The Women of the Hill tells the history of the Pittsburgh Hill District through the first-hand stories of a multi-generational group of African American women, recognizing the significant impact of women on the political and cultural history of this vibrant community. The Hill District is the location of August Wilson’s series of ten plays, the “Pittsburgh Cycle” (also often referred to as his “Century Cycle”), examining the African-American experience in each of the ten decades of the 20th century. The Women of the Hill was a commissioned project of The Aunt Ester Cycle, a two-week festival of plays, symposia and panels, inaugurating the opening season of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, PA.
Charlene Foggie Barnett, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, Phillis Daniel Lavelle, Marlene Scott Ramsey, Brenda Tate, Norma J. Thompson
Written and directed by: Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks, in collaboration with the cast
Lighting Design: Darren McCroom
Projection Design: Maya Ciarrocchi
Stage Manager: Jason Stinnette
Undesirable Elements Project Manager: Sara Zatz
August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Pittsburg, PA (November 2009)
Wilson Tributes End with Inspiring Women of the Hill, Trib Live News, Nov. 23, 2009
A Unique Theatrical Project Blends the Voices of Women, Pittsburgh City Paper, Nov. 2009
Hill District Women Tell Their Stories, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 2009
August Wilson's Mythic Character Aunt Ester Explored in Theater Festival, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 2009
Steel City Cycle, Backstage.com, Dec. 2009
Top Pittsburgh cultural events of 2009, Pittsburgh Tribune
This project was commissioned by the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, and was featured as part of The Aunt Ester Cycle along with productions of Gem of the Ocean by St. Louis Black Rep, Two Trains Running by Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre and Radio Golf by Penumbra Theatre. The Aunt Ester Cycle was recognized as the top cultural event of the year by the Pittsburgh Tribune in 2009.
Made possible in part by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Leading for the Future Initiative, a program of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, funded by the Doris Duke Charitbale Foundation, and MetLife Foundation, the National Sponsor of the Undesirable Elements series. Ping Chong’s residency was supported by Artists & Communities, a program of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.